For those who are wheelchair bound, getting around in the city often poses a challenge. With public transport largely inaccessible for persons with physical disabilities and senior citizens, they are often dependent on friends and family when it comes to commuting – whether long or short distances.
With the mission to help people who are mobility challenged become independent, Vidhya Ramasubban and Srikish Siva founded KickStart cabs in Bengaluru in 2013. Initially beginning with only three cabs, KickStart today has as many as nine cabs. Each of these cabs are modified to meet the needs of their customers.
The two features that make this cab service successful are the turn-out wheel chair and a wheel chair roll-in ramp.
Vidhya hopes to roll out cab services across the country in the future.
“We would like Kickstart to be a pan-India service. Our dream is for every part of the country to have multiple modes of transportation available and accessible for persons with disabilities and seniors. We want people with disabilities to experience the outside world and do all that their non-disabled peers are able to do,” said Vidhya.
The features of the vehicles are uniquely modified to make the transit easy and comfortable. The front passenger seat converts into a wheel chair and rolls out of the car in order to make the person with crutches or in a wheel chair to sit with convenience. The vehicles also have a roll-in ramp in the rear, to make the people on wheel chair get in the car easily.
Kickstart today has served more than 1500 unique customers with 90% reusing the services. It charges about Rs 800 for a single trip of two-hours or a distance of 20 km along with the roll-in ramp. It also costs Rs 800 for a similar trip with a turn-out wheel chair model. The customers can choose their journey on the website of the KickStart cabs or over the telephone.
Srikrish said, “Kickstart is an inclusive cab service. Our focus is to get as many senior and disabled citizens moving in a safe and dignified manner. Until now, our customer base did not have a choice and many have considered themselves a burden to near and dear ones. Our service gives them a choice to travel, without compromising on dignity.”